Put yourself out there
Building a network from scratch is a two-way street. Yes, you'll need to spend some time making new contacts and nurturing these fledgling relationships, but others must also play a part. Marketing yourself through a website, social media, local publications and events gives others a chance to find you. Remember: networking benefits both parties. If you place yourself in a prominent position, it's reasonable to expect communication from outside. After all, why should you be the only one doing all the legwork?
Embrace social media
Social media truly is a godsend for real estate agents. While the bigger channels like Facebook remain good tools for reaching out to buyers and sellers, the true networking happens on LinkedIn – and Twitter to some extent. LinkedIn will not only allow you to connect with potential clients and real estate agents in your area, it will also provide a forum for sharing valuable industry insight.
Attend local events
Locality is key for real estate agents. Just in the same way that you'll need to learn everything about property in your area, you'll also want to focus on how to build a network locally. This means you absolutely must keep an eye out for local industry events when you're starting from scratch. Show up early, mingle – and be the last one to leave.
Consider co-working spaces
Local events are great, but they don't happen everyday. If you're looking for more frequent opportunities to grow your network, it doesn't get much better than co-working spaces. The real joy of these set-ups lies in their diversity.
After all, thinking about how to build a network from scratch isn't just about meeting fellow real estate agents. You'll discover useful local contacts such as hairdressers, divorce lawyers and other socially engaged people who have a good feel for the area and the people within it. There's also the benefit from networking with copywriters, photographers, marketing minds and all sorts of creative people in your area. These are the people who can help you convert other new contacts into sales.
Keep building existing relationships
Building a network from scratch isn't just a question of reaching out and meeting new people. You need to build your relationships with the individuals you do meet, growing trust between the two of you. Aim to touch base with each of your new contacts at least once every few months, scheduling an opportunity to meet up and keep abreast of their news.
The first step to beginning a career in real estate is learning how to build a network.